Thankfully Harry wasn’t as whiny in chapters 21-26 of The Order of the Phoenix as he was in previous chapters. I also enjoyed the chapters away from the school and getting an opportunity to see St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. There wasn’t a lot of extra intrigue in these chapters but I’m interested to see what comes from Harry’s connection to Voldemort.
Below are some thoughts from chapters 21-26 of The Order of the Phoenix.
I felt really bad for Neville when Harry and crew spotted him at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. I feel like most nerds feel a certain kinship with Neville. We’d all love to be Harry, Hermione or even Ron. But, to be honest, most nerds are like Neville: a little awkward and a little on the outside. When Neville’s pain was laid bare for everyone to see, I just wanted to tell him that everything was going to be OK. Before Dumbledore told Harry what happened to Neville’s parents, no one had any idea about Neville’s past. It’s an important lesson for us to learn. We have no idea what has happened in the lives of those around us. We should always treat people with grace and respect because they may be living with something that we can’t even comprehend.
Occlumency is the magical defense of the mind against external penetration. Because of Harry’s mental link with Voldemort, Dumbledore wants Harry to study Occlumency in order to ward off Voldemort’s influence. Much to Harry’s dismay, his Occlumency teacher is Professor Snape. While I don’t believe in magic, I do like the idea of Occlumency. Occlumency is about limiting the negative influence others have on us, partially by letting go of the feelings they inspire within us. If Harry wants to limit Voldemort’s influence then he needs to control his feelings about Voldemort. If we want to limit the negative influence of others then we need to control our feelings about them. Someone may do something to upset us but, when we continue to seethe and hold onto our anger, we let him or her control us beyond the initial action. Just like Harry, we need to let go of those emotions, which keeps others from having a negative influence over us.
Boys and Girls
Two of my favorite parts of these chapters were Hermione’s interpretations of Cho’s behavior for Harry. Even though most nerds are probably Neville, all male nerds can identify with Harry’s confusion over Cho and her behavior. J.K. Rowling does a tremendous job of capturing the differences between boys and girls and the confusion they lead to. It’s the differences between boys and girls that allow us to complement each other so well. Being made in God’s image means we are relational beings by nature, since God himself is in perpetual relationship with himself. Just like the Godhead isn’t complete without Father, Son and Holy Spirit, humanity isn’t complete without male and female. I doubt the Godhead is as confused, though, as boys and girls are.
I’m continuing to enjoy The Order of the Phoenix. I’m looking forward to seeing how the wizarding world is further galvanized by Harry’s interview in The Quibbler. I’m almost 70% of the way through the book and, if book five is like the others, I imagine I’ll have a hard time putting it down over these final chapters
What thoughts do you have from chapters 21-26 of The Order of the Phoenix?